Sunday, March 13, 2011

Less is More

I can't even tell you how many times I have started a post or thought about starting a post this past week. Have you ever had one of those times when God was working in your life in a HUGE way, but you just can't quite see what exactly He is doing?

That's where I am right now.

It's like He is plowing away at the garden of my soul, pulling up weeds over here, busting up rocks over here, and planting and watering seeds, but until that garden grows, I just don't know what's in it. If you know me well...or really, if you have ever spent ten minutes with know I am not usually at a loss for words. My Mom used to say, "A fool tells all.", which is actually pretty Biblical. It's not word for word, but the idea is all there. That is one of my biggest areas of conviction right now. I love to talk to people and I love to blog, but I just wonder sometimes if I say too much. It is absolutely, without a doubt, always my intent to glorify God and give praise for what He has done and is doing in my life and the life of my family. I know that without Him, I would be an absolute mess. He is still working on me and has a long way to go; I just want to see Him in the journey and I want others to see Him, too. I have been made aware, however, that too many words often points the attention at the one talking instead of to the One that gave that voice in the first place. Ya know what I mean?

This has actually been a pretty frustrating week for me. Overall things are SOOO much better right now. It seems we are finally settling into life here. We are making friends, we're attending the same church every Sunday, and we are making (slow) progress in our house. But in spite of all that, I feel like I am losing my mind....literally. Have you ever been using a really slow computer and in an effort to get it to do what you want it to do you just keep clicking and clicking and clicking? I have....did I mention patience is one of those things God is working on daily? What usually happens is not what I want to happen. Instead of going faster, it gets overloaded and completely locks down. Well...that is my brain right now. I can't explain it any other way. I have been missing appointments, which is NOT like me. The "planner" in me has totally gone missing....if I think about something more than 5 minutes ahead, it is a miracle. My children even think I am losing it. I am having a hard time carrying on a conversation. I keep forgetting what the other person is talking about before they get to the end of their sentence. Can I just say that preteen girls do not have a lot of patience for that?

I guess life is finally catching up with me. It just feels like it is spinning out of control. I get to the end of every week and don't even know where Monday through Friday went. Jeff and I sat down together last week to try to figure out where to cut back. Unfortunately, there was not a whole lot we could cut out. Clara has physical therapy twice a week, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Emilie has an appointment every week. I have been doing two Bible studies and we did cut out one of those (that I am LOVING and getting so much from...that one breaks my heart). Throw in a few extra appointments (we are at some type of doctor at least once or twice a week), home school, and some church activities, and that's a pretty full week. So once again, it seems God wants less.

Less words is more holiness.

Less pride is more relationship with my heavenly Father.

Less stuff is more peace. (We are about to start another major clean-out.)

Less busyness is more time for my family.

Less chaos is more sanity.

Less worry is more room for prayer.

In so many ways, less is more. That is my life's theme for right least until God gives me something different. :-) Maybe I will get my brain back in the process. :-)

We have had some very fun times in the last few weeks, though. I had someone ask one of my children over the Christmas break how we ever get any school work done because we seem to just be playing all the time. Well, let me tell you. We are getting our school work done (at least the most important parts), but our goal as a family since we have been here has been survival. Plain and simple. We knew that such a large move was going to take a huge toll on our family, and we wanted to do as much family bonding and exploring as we could when we got here. Not to mention, if I posted on Facebook and blogged about all the mundane stuff we do, I would have no friends left. No one wants to know all that stuff. :-)

I have a n absolute passion for raising girls who are holy and pure. I want them to want to be pure, not because I have given them a list of rules, but because they have their own relationship with God our Father and they understand that they are His temple and they know they are adored......that He is enthralled with their beauty (Ps. 45:11). I do not want them to give into the pressure to be more "sexual" in order to get the attention of a man. I guess the bottom line is, I just want them to know they are worth it. As I have read about this whole topic of raising girls this way, I have come to love the materials written by Dana Gresh called "Secret Keeper Girls". She has books for Moms, preteen girls, and teenage girls and they are fabulous. She also goes on tour. Recently, she was in a town near us so I took my two oldest. Alyssa was probably too old, but I wanted her to hear those principles from someone other than her mother. If you have girls, you know what I mean. Emilie, however, was just right. She already feels like a part of the club, so for her, it was like going to see Elvis Presley. They said it was for 8-12 year-olds, but there were some 7year-olds there and I thought it was totally appropriate for that age, too.

It was hard to get great pictures because of the lighting, but here is a little of what I have:

Alyssa pretending to be very excited to be there.

Emilie could not have been more excited. For one day, I was the "Mom of the Year"! She must have thanked me fifty times.

This was a contest between daughters and mothers. We were supposed to get our green balls to one side before the girls go their pink balls to the other. They made us moms sit down, though, so there was not much competition. :-)

Me and my two oldest girls. About five minutes later, we entered into one of the worst drives I have had since moving to the frozen tundra. God definitely protected us that night.

There were crazy fun times, and there were precious moments for moms and girls to share and pray with each other. I will always remember those moments. I am hoping they will bring back the tour again next year. If you want more information, you can visit them here.

This past weekend we marched in a parade! I have mentioned before that moving here was not just a geographical move, but a complete culture change. This parade was a perfect example! We have apparently moved to the land of the Irish; We are only about ten minutes from Notre Dame. They even turn the water in the river green after the parade, so it is a big event. As far as I know, there was never a St. Patrick's Day parade anywhere close to me in Georgia. Reins of Life, the ranch where Clara rides therapeutically, marched in the parade and asked us all to participate. I can honestly say I have not had that much fun in a long time! I have marched in a ton of parades, but I usually was singing and dancing, or had a piccolo stuck to my face. In this one, we walked and waved and gave out candy. Clara was grumpy again (not sure what this is all about lately) but the rest of us had a ball! 

While we were decorating our wagon...actually, a wagon we borrowed from a sweet friend... some news people came by and asked if they could film us. They filmed us decorating, got close-ups of the girls, and then they they put a microphone on me. They interviewed me for about 5 minutes, but we don't get that channel so I have no idea what they broadcast. A friend DVR'd it for me and if I am on it and don't sound too much like a hillbilly, I'll order it and post it here. :-) I know I was cold and the wind was about to blow us away. This ought to be cute. :-)

The girls were cute, for sure.

Ready to roll!

From L to R: One of the volunteers at the ranch (I don't know her name), Donkey, and Ms. Sarah, Clara's instructor. The donkey stole the show. :-)

I will try to post more pictures later. When I arrived at the parade I realized that "someone" had borrowed my camera and I only had three pictures left. I borrowed one of  the ROL cameras, so hopefully I can get some copies.

So much for "less is more". I will try to post more frequently so the posts are not so long. I do have some updates on the results of our last trip to the U of M that I will post soon. I wanted to make sure I had all the information before I posted.

Have a blessed day!!



  1. I find your words and demeanor and candor and life experiences you share to be a true blessing, so PLEEEEASE don't cut back on your blogging!! For example, your blog spoke to me tonight in a HUGE way.....a God thing, I am sure!!! Oscar and I went to buy a new mattress since our backs are hurting in the mornings and when I slept with Addie in her room last week, I felt AWESOME when I woke up!!! Ended up buying one at Costco, then realizing it was the exact one Oscar's mom had in the room we stay in when we visit that I CANNOT SLEEP returned it, but his mom is here, so she had all three kiddos and so Oscar and I had time to have the "less is more" chat, and even after just having the chat, I feel liberated!!!!!
    Hang in there, keep the updates coming, and I can't wait to hug your sweet neck in, that was Southern, wasn't it??? But us girls are Southern, so there!!!!
    Much love,

  2. Your post made me think of this address that I like to read from time to time:

    Thank you for describing the talking, wanting to glorify God but feeling the Glory is lost in the heap of words. I struggle with this, though I admit I'm not even always that conscientious about wanting to glorify God! I love this scripture:

    Ecclesiastes 9:17
    "The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools."

    I think sometimes it isn't saying too much, but saying too much to those who can't even begin to appreciate what you are trying to say. Language was confounded at the tower of Babel, and even the best of us are unable to adequately speak of God and His glory without the help of His Spirit. 1 Kings 19:12 talks about a "still small voice" and so I think of the Spirit not really needing to be loud or wordy, but quiet. SO maybe that's what the preacher is talking about.

    Anyway, simplifying your life, less of things not as meaningful to give you more of what is, sounds perfect! Thanks for giving me time to re-think about important things that I don't always take time to stop and think about.